Wednesday night, the Vancouver Canucks' Olympics-induced fourteen-game road trip (well, eight games, two weeks off, then six games) came to an end with a 4-3 shootout loss in Phoenix. When the 2009-2010 NHL schedule was released last summer, a collective gasp! escaped the lips/keyboards of hockey pundits everywhere...well, almost everywhere. Fourteen consecutive road games was considered by most to be a tremendous hardship for the Canucks (though a blogger who shall remain nameless predicted on a certain radio show that the 'Nucks would return from their road trip atop the Northwest Division).
As anyone who can read a standings table can see, Vancouver is, indeed, in first place in the Northwest, following an 8-5-1 road trip which shall henceforth be known as Daniel & Henrik's Excellent Adventure. At this point, I believe I'll step away from the keyboard for a moment and strut around the room.
Okay, I'm back. With that out of my system, I must admit to being a bit surprised by Vancouver's 4-1-1 post-Olympic record, especially since that stretch featured two back-to-back sets and four (possibly five) games against playoff-bound opponents...until I remembered these words of wisdom from a blogger of note:
"...the road is a great place for a team to come together and shake off the rust after a two-week layoff."
After two weeks off, getting out on the road (and away from all the distractions/comforts of home) allowed teams to quickly re-focus. It wasn't just the Canucks, either: The first three nights after the Olympic break, road teams compiled a record of 13-6-0. The Moral of the Story is this: Lengthy road trips can be a good thing...especially if you have as much talent as the Vancouver Canucks.
Now, let's see what kind of reception Ryan "I HATE Team Canada" Kesler gets from the hometown fans Saturday night...Should be a great way to wrap up my #Hockeython.
Take me back to On Goal Analysis.